September 10, 2016 / 4:45 PM / 3 years ago

Brazil prosecutors plan to launch probe into BNDES: media

A general view of the headquarters of Brazilian Development Bank (BNDES) in downtown Rio de Janeiro August 20, 2014. REUTERS/Pilar Olivares

BRASILIA (Reuters) - Brazilian prosecutors launched a preliminary investigation into an alleged corruption scheme at the national development bank BNDES, weekly magazine Veja reported on Saturday.

The prosecutors have been gathering documents for at least two months and are in talks with a former BNDES executive about a potential collaboration, Veja said.

Spokespeople at BNDES and the prosecutors’ federal office did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

BNDES is the largest source of long-term corporate credit in Brazil and is one of the world’s largest development banks.

The bank ramped up lending under the administrations of the Workers’ Party between 2003 and 2015 as part of government efforts to boost economic growth, offering subsidized credit to several of Brazil’s largest firms across sectors.

The investigation would be the latest in a series of massive corruption probes in Brazil since prosecutors launched the “Operation Carwash” in 2014, centered around a kickback scheme at state-run oil company Petrobras.

Earlier this week, police launched another investigation, now at state-run companies’ pension funds.

Reporting by Silvio Cascione; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama

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